Drones Get Smarter with Artificial Intelligence

A recent article reported about Australia’s first “loyal wingman,” which Boeing Australia presented to the Australian Air Force hoping it can fly alongside manned warplanes while bringing artificial intelligence to the battlefield. The Loyal Wingman, at 38-foot-long (11.5 meters) and with a range of 2,000 miles (3,218.6 kilometers), will “use artificial intelligence to fly independently, or in support of manned aircraft, while maintaining safe distance between other aircraft,” according to Boeing’s website on the project. Read the full story here

More and more, Artificial Intelligence finds its way into the realm of drones. Artificial intelligence (AI), the ability of a digital computer or computer-controlled robot to perform tasks commonly associated with intelligent beings, according to a definition by Britannica.com

Drones and AI go well together as drone companies are discovering.  

[…]With their ability to increase efficiency and improve safety, drones have become important tools for everyone from firefighters to farmers. Until recently, though, drones were only able to display what their cameras captured. Now, thanks to artificial intelligence software, they can perceive their surroundings, which enables them to map areas, track objects and provide analytical feedback in real-time. Read more of the story here

This refers to Computer Vision, that which allows drones to detect objects.

The objects are annotated to make it recognizable to drones through computer vision. And a wide variety of entities are labeled to make sure drone can detect and decide its direction and control to fly safely avoiding the obstacles in the path. Read more here

Drones with artificial intelligence are great for urban management and help create smarter cities.

A 2018 conference paper talks about this: Drones for Good in Smart Cities: A Review.

Here is a brief excerpt from its abstract:

Drones are expected to play a key role in the smart city environment, providing support for a variety of applications such as medical, package delivery, policing, traffic monitoring and firefighting. However, challenges such as safety, security and privacy in densely populated regions remain as a concern in connecting drones as part of the smart city.


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